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In my youth I utterly and completely despised the imperial honours and the way that every tired political hack would get a knighthood for “services to the parliament” every little tin pot party toady could become “Sir Arsewipe” worse still was the sycophantic way that so many people treated these self styled aristocrats. My boss at the little supermarket where I had my first job was one such and he was so deferential to the local “Sir and lady Fishface” (name changed to protect the guilty ) that I just wanted to vomit. It was the worst possible example of the perniciousness of the English class system writ large. So it will probably surprise many people when I say that I am most impressed by Tony Abbott taking the whole country by surprise and reinstating Knights and Dames to the Order of Australia honours. Its a brilliant piece of political theatre.
As its , what? thirty odd years since Bob Hawke gave such honours the chop so most of the last cohort so honoured have died or have appointments with the undertaker and there has been enough of an interregnum that new appointees will be viewed on their own terms rather than as part of the old tradition the timing is spot on. As for just who can qualify its an excellent an clever bit of policy design to restrict the number of honours to no more than four per year and that to qualify requires exemplary service to the community and more importantly that service can not be as any sort of elected official.
In Political terms of course the usual suspects will go utterly troppo, there are already inklings of this around the traps and while the minions of the left invoke their republican credentials there will be no need for the government to expend a great deal of energy defending this change to the way that we honour our most dedicated servants of the people, after all to receive such an honour a person has to have consistently gone above and beyond for their country.
Its the sort of move that, on the chess board, would be equivalent to getting checkmate with the horsey…
Your move Comrades
Strewth its getting to be a daily ritual for the ALP to drag out a new dinosaur to try to extort money form the party faithful in support of the ever more desperate Rudd campaign. Maybe when it comes to the Labor government now would be the time to remind readers of that wonderful Monty Python Sketch about a certain Norwegian Blue…
Maybe Kevin is just pining for the fiords…
We have a fine tradition in this country of understanding that what a political player does in private with their privates is not of necessity any reflection on their ability to meet the requirements of their office. With that in mind I just can’t get excited about the silliness committed by Peter Dowling . Yes the idea of sending pictures of your penis in a glass of wine is a bit of a larf but is it really a scandal?
Lets look at the facts, firstly the woman involved was a consenting adult , secondly as far as we know there were no breaches of the criminal law by Dowling, thirdly after the affair was over the woman spurned has made public the indiscreet pictures.
If there has been a failure of ethics here I would say the guilty party here is the woman who has broken the tacit agreement involved in any relationship that intimacies will remain private . That includes silly pictures sent between lovers because I can’t help thinking that the salacious pictures would have been only coming from Dowling if they were the erotic currency of the affair (it is to his credit that he has not splashed pictures of the woman’s girly bits all over the media)
Finally lets remember that its not only conservative pollies you play away (Bob Hawke, anyone?) its inseparable from our humanity and our sexuality that human beings fall in love (or lust) and the simple fact is that its not a conscious choice and that people in love do silly things. People spurned in love do even sillier things.
- Peter Dowling: Australian MP mixes sexting with a nice glass of wine (theguardian.com)
- Penis. Wine. Penis Wine. That Is All, Just Penis Wine. (wonkette.com)
- Qld Ethics Committee chair, Peter Dowling, accused of sending explicit texts to mistress (abc.net.au)
- Qld parliament ethics boss in porn scandal (news.theage.com.au)
- Queensland MP stands down as ethics committee head over sexting allegations (theguardian.com)
- FRESH : Sexting Scandel: Weiner is Still In, Australia’s MP “Peter Dowling” Out (sacratomatovillepost.com)
- Australian MP in sexting scandal (itv.com)
Earlier I have been suggesting that the whole Push by Conroy to reshape the media landscape was a convenient smokescreen intended to distract attention form the leadership woes of Julia Gillard and now this morning we have Peter Harcher of the Age making precisely the same claim but with the added flavour of his contacts within the Labor party.
But there is another explanation, too. ”Conroy’s view has been that the media stuff isn’t the worst thing in the world, and it’ll distract from leadership speculation and get us through to the end of next week,” says a senior Labor figure. ”Gillard’s entire world is an inside game,” of how to hold the leadership against any Kevin Rudd recrudescence.
The end of next week? That’s the last time Parliament sits before the budget, the last time the caucus will be together in one place, the last time there will be a venue and opportunity for any leadership challenge before the budget.
But Rudd is resolutely sticking to his pledge that he will not challenge again. This is frustrating some of his more determined supporters, but he is proving immovable.
Without any challenge, the onus for change rests with the senior Labor members who, until now, have been Gillard supporters. A delegation to tell her to resign, like the one that gave the same message to Bob Hawke in 1991, is widely mooted. Messy, unpleasant, and, so far, no volunteers.
- Gillard camp denies leadership spill (dailytelegraph.com.au)
- PM has to go, urges Rudd camp (smh.com.au)
- Without dignity all is lost for Labor (iainhall.wordpress.com)
- Gillard and Rudd camps deny leadership spill on the cards (3aw.com.au)
- ALP anarchy reaches breaking point (dailytelegraph.com.au)
- The great wall of Chinese Rudd fans (dailytelegraph.com.au)
- Rudd should be given ministry: Latham (abc.net.au)
- Gillard regains preferred PM title: Newspoll (abc.net.au)
- Labor and Gillard losing support: poll (news.theage.com.au)
- ALP ‘faces massacre under Julia Gillard’ (bigpondnews.com)
It certainly looks like Tony Abbott has hit the ground running and that he is determined to see the opposition actually meeting its job description by opposing the government, with the first order of business being to defeat the truly bad ETS proposed and developed By Brother Number One and Penny W(r)ong. It may just be me but I detected more than just a scrap of “fire in the belly” in Tony Abbott’s interview performance on the 730 report last night and the look on Kerry’s Face was one of absolute delight to have Tony on the other side of the desk. Tony was immediately on message that the CPRS was a massive tax that would require a huge bureaucracy to administer it for no environmental gain. This is a message that is absolutely true and one that will get traction in the electorate even if Brother Number One puts that Glock to his head to play Russian roulette by calling a double dissolution election.
TONY Abbott has vowed to muscle up on Kevin Rudd, saying he can win next year’s federal election by turning the heat on the Labor Government.
Mr Abbott set his sights on the Prime Minister within hours of his stunning victory in yesterday’s Liberal Party leadership showdown.
But Labor hit back at the former amateur boxer with a blunt advertising campaign which signals a new intensity in federal politics.
“It will be a clean contest but where I think that Kevin Rudd deserves to have his follies and fatuities exposed, I will do that,” Mr Abbott said.
He accused Mr Rudd of spending too much time overseas and being a prime minister who “loves a crisis to give him an excuse to run to the airport”.
The fact that Labor has already started to develop and run election style ads attacking Mr Abbott and that they have already rolled out The Silver Bodgie to declare Tony Abbott unelectable and a “temporary” leader shows just how scared they are to be facing someone who is a real, take no prisoners, political pugilist . I think that anyone who wants to make the call that this change will mean an easy retention of the lodge by Brother Number One at the next election is kidding themselves and perhaps they should remember the basic premise of all of Sly Stallone’s Rocky films where a man that every one has written off pulls of an unlikely victory by sheer will and determination…